Sunday, April 25, 2010

Off Block Island, 100 of "The Right Whales to Pursue"

Astonishing that 73 years after right whales, on the verge of extinction, were protected by the International Whaling Convention of 1937, only about 400 survive. Even more astonishing, 100 of them are between Block Island and Martha's Vineyard.

Peter Matthiessen, in his book Wildlife in America, wrote that in the early years of whaling, the late 1700s, "the whales most sought were the bowhead or Greenland whale and its near-relative, the right whale -- so called because, a valuable oil-and-baleen species which shared with the bowhead the crucial characteristic of floating on the surface when killed, it was the 'right whale' to pursue."


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